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Tuesday, 1 October 1935

Mr HUGHES (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Health) - On Friday last the honorable member for Melbourne (Dr. Maloney) asked a question regarding cases of rickets in the Territory. The Director-General of Health reports as follows : -

On one family a definite case of rickets of an aggravated type is recorded. This is the family of a man who first arrived in Canberra in 1931, travelling with his family in a horse and cart. He was not eligible for registration, but on representations by the medical superintendent of the hospital - Dr. Nott - he was allowed to remain in Canberra and given work so that his child's foot could be treated at the Canberra Hospital. Later, another child was born, this latter child being now three years old and having shown the first signs of rickets at ten months of ago. This child has been under treatment, and especially from November,1934, to March, 1935, was in attendance at the Child Welfare Clinic receiving the necessary adjuncts to its diet.

The conditions associated with this family were such that I requested the Director of the Investigation Branch to arrange for a special inquiry. Accordingly an officer of the Child Welfare Department in Sydney visited Canberra on the 11th September, 1935, and reported that - " although there is definite evidence of past neglect, proper attention is now being given the children by way of providing ample clothing, nourishing food and medical attention."

This case of rickets, therefore, has been receiving proper attention for some considerable time past.

No other case of rickets has been reported to me, and I have not been able to obtain evidence of other cases.

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